STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS — INITIAL THOUGHTS

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I rarely review or comment on movies.  It isn’t something I feel comfortable doing.  Others are better critics of films, but after watching the opening showing of this movie with my three sons, I felt I needed to write down their comments during the movie and afterwards.  (Please note all three of them begged to go see this movie.)

During the movie, my thirteen year kept asking, “Can we leave yet?”

During the movie my eleven year old kept saying, “This doesn’t make any sense, dad?”

During the movie, my nine year old asked, “Where is Anakin or Darth Vader?  They were cool.”

During the movie, there were several times my sons burst out in laughter, then whispered to one another “That is so stupid!”

As we left the movie theater, my oldest two sons commented, “Disney ruined Star Wars.  It sucks now.”

As we walked through the parking lot, my nine year old asked, “Dad, why was Finn always having to be rescued by the girl?  I thought he was a soldier?  Why is he such a wimp?”

As we strolled through the other groups leaving the theater, my oldest boys took up the chant, “Star Wars Sucks!”  A chant which was  joined in by most people leaving our theater.

As my kids waited patiently for me to open the car doors (my remote is broken), one of my sons said he didn’t realize Rey was the new and improved Chosen One who could fly the Millenium Falcon better than Han Solo and fight with a lightsaber better than Anakin Skywalker.  (Both of which she could do without ever having piloted a ship before or ever having picked up a lightsaber.)

When we got home, all of my sons were asked by their mom (who is not a Star Wars fan) whether they liked the movie.  They unanimously agreed that it was the worst movie they had seen in a long time, which was startling, because they never agree on anything.

 

But what about me you ask?

All I’m going to say is that I thought the prequel movies were bad, but now I can’t wait to pull them out and watch them again, because my plans to watch the new movie several times over the weekend are now cancelled.

 

 

 

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12 Responses to STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS — INITIAL THOUGHTS

  1. Wow, I am surprised by the disappointed reactions

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    • Bookwraiths says:

      When I questioned them later, they said the story was dumb and that there really wasn’t a story at all (Well, my 11 year old said they just copied New Hope.), just a bunch of explosions followed by more things getting blown up. Plus they all were pretty meh about the new characters.

      If it means anything, I never heard very many people in our theater laughing, gasping, or saying anything during the movie or after it; the few people I overheard talking as we left were saying the movie was okay, but not good, so, at least, in our town, I think my kids were in the majority.

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  2. Can’t wait to go watch it

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  3. Thanks for the warning! I’ll be waiting a long time before I watch this now. As I feared, Disney destroyed Lucas’ dream.

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    • Bookwraiths says:

      Hate to agree with you, because I tried to be optimistic, but it really is nothing more than a Disney movie; the Star Wars magic missing. Hope others like it, but I can’t see my sons changing their minds, which is sad, because I’ve raised them to be fans of the series.

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  4. It’s better than the prequels. As a film, it’s not terrible. I’d call it bad-to-average, which means probably better than most modern blockbusters. Add in nostalgia and it might be average-to-good.
    It is annoying that it’s a direct copy of A New Hope, with a bit of Empire thrown in for good measure – but then, that’s also what a lot of fans wanted.

    It does go on far too long – or, oddly, it feels as though it does, though it’s not that long. And there are any number of plot holes and stupidities – though probably still less than a lot of major hollywood films (it felt as though it were written by a lazy and over-timid writer; whereas many films these days feel as though they’re written by computers and monkeys, so it could have been worse).

    I’m surprised by the reverse sexism complaint. I don’t think Finn needed that much rescuing – I think it’s more just that it stands out more because being the Man and the Soldier he ‘should’ be rescuing the damsel all the time. But I liked having a character who wasn’t particularly Chosen or Gifted, and who, yes, was both male and not-super-ultra-brave at the same time (though he did still sign up for a suicide mission without a plan just to rescue the damsel in distress, so it’s not like they’ve entirely reversed that trope…). And I was relieved that so far there hasn’t been any significant romance plot!

    Ray (or Rey?) being able to use the lightsabre I just accepted because for some reason being strong in the force is all there is to lightsabre duelling, so that’s just part of the Chosen One / Daughter of You Know Who thing. They did address the pilot thing, saying that she was an experienced and talented pilot – though of course the question remains of how she could be, given the stated backstory…

    On the other hand, making the Sort of Empire into Space Nazis lead by a Nazgul named Snookums or Snoakie or whatever it was unforgiveably stupid.

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    • Bookwraiths says:

      Honestly, I don’t think it is better than all the prequels. I’d rate this the next to worse SW film, just ahead of Phantom Menace.

      As for the lazy writing, I agree this is a blockbuster from Hollywood, which means no chances are going to be taken and the formula is going to be closely followed. This movie rehashed A New Hope to the point of being plain boring however.

      The reverse sexism thing I believe you have to take in perspective as to who said it – a young boy. I didn’t find anything sexist in Fin’s portrayal, rather I merely thought his character was meh.

      As for Rey, she is overpowered to a ridiculous degree. (I don’t recall anywhere they said she was a skilled pilot. The opposite inf act, but I’m not going to argue that, because I’m not 100% sure.) As for the lightsaber fight, if you are going to keep any of the ground rules from the previous movies, Rey cannot use the Force and use a lightsaber as she does. If we aren’t going by the SW lore, then why are we calling it Star Wars again?

      Hopefully, the next movie will go off in its own direction, add some creative elements, and stick to whatever lore this new SW is going to use. If it just rehashes the original trilogy again, I don’t think I’ll be paying attention to the Disney hype machine anymore.

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      • Sure, Rey is overpowered, but that seemed to me to be pretty in keeping to the “Chosen Messiah” style of story that SW is based on – and after all, so far she has only been beating up a few minions (they made a point of Vader #2 being mentally weak and only half-trained).

        What do you mean, Rey can’t use the Force/lightsaber? Why is that? [Not arguing, just asking – I’m not up on SW lore]. I’m guessing because she’s not been trained enough? I put that down to her being the Messiah on account of her superior ubermensch genes.

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  5. I am a huge Star Wars fan, as you know. I actually liked the film but didn’t think it was any better than any of the prequels though more mature then Phantom Menace. I have to somewhat agree that there was a lot of copycatting of New Hope though: , the Millennium Falcon “hunk of junk” “garbage” reference, the astromech droid with secret info stranded on a dune-like planet, a masked Dark Lord, the whole father-son villain-hero thing (only reversed), the ‘awakening’ of a jedi (once again, on a sand dune-like planet), the Red Squadron (or whatever they were called) rebels trying to find a weakness in the space station (not only like Star Wars but was redone to a lesser degree in Empire Strikes Back), the lightsaber from past Jedi hero to new, etc., BUT. I still liked it and thought it made for a fun film and a worthy addition to the Star Wars feature films. Unlike everybody and their inner hater, I like or love all the films and take Star Wars for what George Lucas originally intended and saw through to the handing off to Disney: Star Wars films, comics, cartoon episodes, games, etc., are all suppose to be serial chapters, like Flash Gordon or Buck Rogers (or Tarzan, The Shadow, Batman, etc.,) — they will have recurring similarities, reappearances of staple characters, cliffhangers, heroes that are supposedly dead but not, villains who are defeated, destroyed reappearing or reborn to see the light (or dark) of another day – and why I strongly believe Darth Vader will return! and each and every ‘episode’ is to be taken EXACTLY like a serial chapter. I WOULD like to see more original storytelling arcs, and better villains (I didn’t think the villain in this one was all that unbelievable, or scary -unlike Count Dooku, Darth Sidious (or Supreme Chancellor Palpatine for that matter), General Grievous, or even Darth Maul. And I’ve never liked overdone references to previous slogans, sayings, characters, or events. Beyond that, I still, once again, thought it was a lot of fun. I would suggest: SIT BACK, RELAX, GO WITH THE FLOW, AND ENJOY THE SHOW. That way you, and your kids, can have a good time enjoying the greatest entertainment franchise in the world, TOGETHER. Peace out!

    — Darth Fierce

    *Don’t Be A Vader Hater

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  6. Interesting reaction to Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Wow your kids were not impressed. I’m still curious about your official review though. Hint hint…

    For me, I enjoyed it more than the prequels. Yes, a lot felt rehashed, but I had FAR less cringe-worthy moments with the prequel’s horrible dialogue. I also liked how there was more of an arch. with the villain and the new characters were FAR easier to relate to. Solo was fun and zippy as usual, though it was hard to swallow his death.

    I still like the scope and vision of the prequels, plus the action scenes, but I found it really hard to care about the characters in the prequels. Plus, I wanted more from Anakin/Obi-Wan’s relationship, to see how they were good friends. All they did was bicker. Then the timing and handling of Anakin’s turn to the Dark Side felt far too quick and forced. I have many ideas how I would have told it differently. Maybe I’ll blog about that sometime, since it would make this comment far too long.

    But what I’d really like to know is what does Bookwraiths think? Perhaps an official review, even if it feels a bit late?

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